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Donnarumma issues apology: 'I'm sorry to the fans who felt betrayed'

The 18-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper expressed regret over his recent contract drama.

Image: Marco Luzzani

GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA HAS apologised to AC Milan supporters after signing a new contract with the club until 2021.

Having previously rejected a deal to extend beyond 2018, the 18-year-old performed a U-turn on Tuesday to commit his future to the club in an agreement that will reportedly pay him €6 million per year.

It marked the end of a dramatic saga in the transfer window, in which relations with his agent Mino Raiola and Milan soured as Donnarumma was linked with a host of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid and Juventus.

Milan celebrated the renewal on Wednesday with a media event, where they also presented his brother Antonio as a new signing, and Donnarumma took the opportunity to say sorry to fans who had been upset by a dramatic period.

“I’m delighted and proud to be at Milan,” said the goalkeeper. “I was born and raised at this club and I never had any doubts about staying in my mind. I’m sorry to the fans who felt betrayed, but I repeat that was not my intention. I’m sorry to them and thank them for their affection for these two years. I am proud to be here.”

In a tumultuous period after his initial contract rejection, Donnarumma deleted his Instagram account and claimed it was hacked during the European U21 Championship after posting a string of mixed messages on social media. He also had fake money thrown at him by angry supporters during Italy’s match against Denmark in that competition.

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The keeper’s decision to stay will further bolster Milan boss Vincenzo Montella’s plans for 2017-18, with the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu, Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Andre Silva and Fabio Borini having been brought in.

On the negative fan reaction to the saga, Donnarumma added: “Some things have hurt. But I’m a big fan of AC Milan forever. We have great motivation, we want to get back into the Champions League and that is our goal.”

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